Attendance Allowance claims most-likely to get payments of up to £434 each month for five years or longer

The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that at the end of November 2023, nearly 1.6 million older people were receiving additional financial support through Attendance Allowance, including over 140,000 living in Scotland.

The benefit provides either £72.65 (lower rate) or £108.55 (higher rate) each week and as the benefit is usually paid every four weeks, this amounts to either £290.60 or £434.20 every pay period. How much someone receives depends on the level of support needed and the benefit is designed to help people of State Pension age with daily living expenses which can also help them stay independent in their own home for longer.

The latest statistics also show the percentage of claimants receiving Attendance Allowance by health condition. Overall, some 563,746 (36%) of the 1,571,519 people claiming Attendance Allowance have been given an award of five years or more.

Attendance Allowance helps people with a disability, long-term illness, or mental or physical health condition. The most common condition being claimed is arthritis, which provides support for 449,077 people across Great Britain, including 41,055 living in Scotland.

Some 47 per cent of people claiming Attendance Allowance for arthritis receive an award of five years or longer, according to the DWP data.

Below is the number of claimants per condition and the percentage receiving payments for five years or more. It’s worth keeping in mind that people with lifelong, degenerative conditions unlikely to change will typically receive a longer award, shorter awards are issued where an improvement is expected.

Attendance Allowance award length

The figure below represents all claimants up until the end of November 2023.

  • Arthritis - 47%

  • Spondylosis - 48%

  • Back Pain - Other / Precise Diagnosis not Specified - 43%

  • Disease Of The Muscles, Bones or Joints - 40%

  • Trauma to Limbs - 36%

  • Visual Disorders and Diseases - 41%

  • Hearing Disorders - 42%

  • Heart Disease - 50%

  • Respiratory Disorders and Diseases - 33%

  • Asthma - 47%

  • Cystic Fibrosis - 27%

  • Cerebrovascular Disease - 42%

  • Peripheral vascular Disease - 41%

  • Epilepsy - 44%

  • Neurological Diseases - 50%

  • Multiple Sclerosis - 52%

  • Parkinsons - 30%

  • Motor Neurone Disease - 32%

  • Chronic Pain Syndromes - 39%

  • Diabetes Mellitus - 39%

  • Metabolic Disease - 38%

  • Traumatic Paraplegia - 54%

  • Major Trauma Other than Traumatic/Paraplegia - 45%

  • Learning Difficulties - 48%

  • Psychosis - 44%

  • Psychoneurosis - 38%

  • Personality Disorder - 48%

  • Dementia - 20%

  • Behavioral Disorder - 28%

  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse - 37%

  • Hyperkinetic Syndrome - 27%

  • Renal Disorders - 26%

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease - 42%

  • Bowel and Stomach Disease - 37%

  • Blood Disorders - 39%

  • Haemophilia - 39%

  • Multi System Disorders - 41%

  • Multiple Allergy Syndrome - 44%

  • Skin Disease - 37%

  • Malignant Disease - 35%

  • Haemodialysis - 22%

  • Frailty - 100%

  • AIDS - 47%

  • Coronavirus covid-19 - 1%

  • Viral disease - precise diagnosis not specified - 13%

  • Tuberculosis - 53%

  • Bacterial disease - precise diagnosis not specified - 43%

  • Cognitive disorder (other) - 22%

  • Total conditions - 36%

Senior woman with arm pain.
Nearly 1.6 million people over State Pension age are receiving Attendance Allowance. -Credit:Getty

What is Attendance Allowance?

Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if you have a physical or mental disability or illness severe enough that makes it hard for you to look after yourself - it does not cover mobility needs. You do not need to have someone caring for you in order to make a claim.

Who can claim?

You should apply for Attendance Allowance if you have a disability or illness and need help or supervision throughout the day or at times during the night -even if you don’t currently get that help.

This might include:

  • Help with your personal care - for example getting dressed, eating or drinking, getting in and out of bed, bathing or showering and going to the toilet

  • Help to stay safe

You should also apply if you have difficulties with personal tasks, for example if they take you a long time, you experience pain or you need physical help, like a chair to lean on. Attendance Allowance isn’t just for people with a physical disability or illness.

You should also claim if you need help or supervision throughout the day or night and have:

  • a mental health condition

  • learning difficulties

  • a sensory condition - if you are deaf or visually impaired

How much could I get on Attendance Allowance?

You could receive either £72.65 (lower rate) or £108.55 (higher rate) each week. This amounts to either £290.60 or £434.20 every pay period.

You can spend the money however you like and it could help you stay independent in your own home for longer.

This might include:

  • paying for taxis

  • helping towards bills

  • paying for a cleaner or gardener

Can I claim Attendance Allowance even if I have savings and other income?

Yes. Attendance Allowance isn't means-tested so it doesn't matter what other money you have coming in or how much you have in savings either - there's no limit. it is also tax-free and you will be exempt from the Benefit Cap so you won't have money taken away from any other benefits.

Will Attendance Allowance affect my State Pension?

No, it won't affect your State Pension and you can even claim it if you're still working and earning money.

How does Attendance Allowance affect other benefits?

The other benefits you get might increase if you get Attendance Allowance, these include:

  • Extra Pension Credit

  • Housing Benefit Reduction

  • Council Tax Reduction

How do I make a claim?

You will need to complete a long claim form when you apply for Attendance Allowance. It might seem daunting at first but help is available from Citizens Advice and Independent Age.

Full details of how to get the application form by post or over the phone can be found on the GOV.UK website here.

What happens if I am about to reach State Pension age?

If you are thinking about applying for Attendance Allowance when you reach State Pension age, you might be better off claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP) straight away - you may be able to get more money.

Who cannot claim Attendance Allowance?

You won't be able to get Attendance Allowance if you already get PIP or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to pay for your care. If you apply for Attendance Allowance while getting DLA, the DWP will usually reassess your DLA award instead.

You can renew your PIP or DLA when the existing award ends as long as you still meet the eligibility criteria. If your renewal is unsuccessful you can apply for Attendance Allowance instead.

Find out more about Attendance Allowance on the GOV.UK website here.